Topping the guest list is France’s President Francois Hollande. Speaking earlier this week ahead of the conference, Hollande sounded like a colonial master from centuries past. He warned that he would be conveying a tough message on democracy, human rights and corruption to his African guests. ‘
Of equal concern, said Hollande, is the spread of terrorism in the Sahel region among the former French colonies of Mali and Niger.
The irony is that the French leader is the least competent to lecture on these matters. For decades, his country has sucked the natural wealth out of Africa like a giant parasite, causing poverty, disease and underdevelopment, which in turn have fuelled despair, conflict and violence. And the parasitic arrangement continues to this very day.’